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tv   Discussion on Foreign Affairs  CSPAN  February 19, 2019 1:26am-2:15am EST

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trump can return to fire and fury at a moments notice because the underlying nuclear situation is no different or no better than it was in 2017. similarly to be incredibly threatened with the attack to the same degree with the same level of confidence today as he could on november 28 of 2018. [inaudible conversations] >> ladies and gentlemen help me welcome to the stage our gas. [applause]
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- - guests. [applause] >> good morning. long time no see. we have a wonderful panel of people who don't require introduction so i will not waste any of our time making them. the topic is what's going on? the same as kissinger i don't need an introduction but i still enjoy them. [laughter] >> i'm joking. >> i was asked if he said that and he said if i didn't i should have. >> so i will make it.
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pulitzer prize winner, pulitzer prize winner you will and one any one of these days. [laughter] >> not likely. >> i would like to get started with the state of the world today because to say that the world is in a bad way imagine to put a map in your mind going from continent to continent and what you see is very different than the one that many of us had hoped for or imagined in 1991 when the soviet union was collapsing and history was proclaimed and it seemed as if the future that was in more and more countries to become prosperous
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, free-market democracies that we were told would be inevitable. instead we see the rise of a massive surveillance stay in superpower in china threatening neighbors threatening to push the united states out of the region where we have been a dominant player for the last 75 years. we look to russia and a president who has invaded two of the neighbors directly and ukraine beginning 2014 to threaten hybrid warfare against many neighbors along with undermining elections in europe and the united states. the european union just a
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couple decades ago seemed it was likely to bring the continent closer to gather not just economically but politically by parties from the extreme right in italy and the extreme left as well. of course all of that is catnip for someone like putin whose ambitions of the union itself along with nato. looking south we have the tragedy in venezuela, a populist president in my own home country of mexico. not very far from where we are now not only a tragedy for
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mexico but for america as well. and here in the united states witnessing a form of politics that was merely unimaginable not that long ago. a party that strikes us as almost unrecognizable under president bush president h.w. bush and the democratic party that also leans increasingly far to the left and it seems to me from 16 years ago the idea someone would look at politics would be a front runner would be far-fetched
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but now they are both strong contenders to get the nomination in a years time. so this is a lot to talk about. >> so upbeat. [laughter] i want to become to be equal in the pessimism but i want to go from this mixed deal. [laughter] i wanted to start on the far left. >> but in poland you are the far left of these days according to some members of your government that many of us know her for her works on soviet communism which is an incredible book the gulags more recently s of her book on
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the genocide on the ukrainian people by stalin in the 1930s and splits her time between london and poland were her husband in the previous government was a foreign minister in polish government and you wrote an eye-opening essay in the atlantic about two issues ago? there was a wonderful cover story where you talked about what has been going on in poland and hungary in just the last few years. can you tell us about that
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essay? >> thank you. the essay began with a conversation with the editor of the atlantic and i was trying to describe the phenomenon that begins with a new year's eve party in 1999 and at this party people called the center right at that time that were in favor of democracy and anti-communist some americans in a mixed big party and i realized half of the people are people who have now taken a different path so it's hard to know what to call them they are not center-right but far right supporters of the extreme nationalism opposed to alliances using angry rhetoric
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and the polarization created between me and my old friends is such that we never speak to each other anymore and we across the street to avoid one another if we are in the same room. so to explain why this happened i realize this happened i said it to a friend of mine in washington have you met anybody from the republican party recently? friends in britain can describe something similar over brexit. so as i try to explain what was driving the polarization or the different ideas in the context of central europe is why some people abandoned ideas about democracy that was
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so important and powerful although it was democratically elected tried to politicize the court take over the free press to re- nationalize the banks so they push against the checks and balances of liberal democracy and the authoritarian state. so the question is why? i had a series of answers it has to do with anger at meritocracy instead of having the communist party deciding who got to rule we have a system like the united states where there is competition for power or jobs are people who were better educated got
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promoted and some people lost out. why are those who are good at passing exams get government jobs why not people who are more moral? and i pointed the reason why those who are interested is because it's a phenomenon we see in other places to question do we really want independent courts? should the government take charge? the media is crazy now and will lie about anything and the impulse to take control is the slogan in the brexit campaign and that has echoed in other places appealing to people on the far right and far left and has echoed even in our country.
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>> this is the phenomenon of populism that in 2015 pulled the republican party by storm. i have heard you make this point earlier but this is something the elites themselves in the party or in the country there a certain measure of responsibility. unpack that. >> i will actually talking about that in a lecture following this when i don't want to step on my applause lines too much but now i can field test. [laughter] but i do think as much as what was put upon my party that both parties have we focus a
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lot on the republican party because we see president trump and both parties were broken and with the 2016 democratic primaries bernie sanders ran for mayor of burlington the government - - governor congressman and senator of vermont he was beaten or beaten a democrat or republican because he ran as a self-proclaimed independent socialist the first convention he attended and he had received 47 percent of the primaries raising 230 millions without a single fundraising event that shows the clinton machine had to fight right to the end to beat him. but both political parties are broken because the things that have held them together, some of that went away with a victory over communism with
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those constraints but i served in the bush administration but i recognize iraq war divided the country. it was politics and policy but then we had a financial crisis we looked at that and walked away with the view that somehow the government was in bed with people if the banks were bailed out the big boys had a lobbyist and a loophole they took money out of my pocket giving it to solyndra than say bail out the big boys letting the banks go down. economic populism was there and then eight years with high expectations that we are not red states or blue states but the united states but that did not happen so now by 2016 this toxic left and right populism
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both political parties but inside the republican party that we are sick and tired of taking it lying down we just want somebody to pick up a brick and promised to throw it through the plate glass window stopping obama for what he was doing the second and third most populous states of the union senators and ceos but one set i will do exactly what you want me to do and take the brick until all those snobs in washington and the media the country between palo alto and hudson river is more than flyover and ed democratic party is ruled by the 29 -year-old aoc or o'rourke from texas they cannot show they are leading because they are atypical so we find out the results somebody needs to
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emerge to bridge the gap inside their parties or the country we will be stuck to the next lecture because it will be really revealing. [laughter] but social media makes the process more difficult to manage and make our way through. >> i don't think there is a columnist in america that was more devastated about clinton than you and one month ago writing about how the seating area had to get smaller and smaller because the literal sense the window on the era is coming to a close do you see the emergence of a new democratic party? number one do you think
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democrats will miss the era where the clintons were so offended and their style of politics so dominant? and second tell us about your feelings of the new crop of democratic leaders who strike me as more aggressive than the coalition of the clintons. >> i was on the road with barack obama for a year and that was an amazing thing to watch and that was one of the great wonders of american politics that he could go up against the clinton machine to dismantle it. so i found it confusing he laid out the red carpet for the clintons because part of
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the reason there was this praise is because people wanted to move on to have something fresh and exciting and on a different page. it's amazing to me somebody could accomplish this great political feet then to look around clearly at the angry electorate and thought somebody a status quo of hillary was the right candidate. i have talked to people around obama now and now he feels he did ignore that bernie sanders phenomenon although it was similar to his and he should have let them fight it out and not anoint hillary he took her to lunch and said it's hillary's turn actually with a
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better personal story and as far as the new crop i had interviewed and written about aoc and obviously she has said some things that are wrong and won't happen but on the other hand i really love her fire and fight i didn't know how to talk about this in plain language but for some the democrats have been submissive they cannot even call themselves liberals they were scared of the word liberal they had to invent a new word. so i just think from the time of adelaide stevenson they have tended to nominate hall monitors. [laughter]
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al gore, john kerr kerry, clinton, dukakis, they always want to tell the voter what is right then the voter should come along and realize politics is the art of persuading people to do what they might not want to do it is the art of seduction and fall in love with the person who has life-and-death power over you. and it has gotten increasing at the working class i come from a family i call them my basket of deplorable's. [laughter] they are conservatives my dad was really excited to stay up the night truman one my brother was excited to stay up the night trump one. unless the democrats can
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figure out how to talk to the working class and not sneer at them or clinging to guns and religion that's a problem. at least aoc has heart. she is talking to her constituents. that is what i like about her. >> it strikes me that one beneficiary geopolitical of the increasing movement of the right and left and out to the progressive fringes vladimir putin he has spent a lot of time writing about russia so lead us into that moment of that vulnerability for liberal
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democracy somebody like putin like a spoiler or china is the avatar of a model that this is a moment that resembles the twenties and thirties with liberal democracy and people admired mussolini because he made the trains run on time so are we in a similar moment today some of this is not an accident which is to support extreme parties and groups of all times and aoc is not the far left if you look around so
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the strategy is the online strategy that is most shocking with 2016 the tactics when they were exactly the same tactics in central and eastern europe and ukraine as i saw them unfolding you are joking you will not really do that? but they did. but the tactics of creating fake facebook groups or fake support or extreme views which we know they did in our country or every single european country and customized to the country and then to support extremism and scottish nationalism it is literally the difference of the old-fashioned propaganda
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they are not interested in supporting people that are pro- russian and in poland the far right is anti- russian but to be anti- ukrainian and that's enough so this is one of the consequences that none of us notice talk about the globalization economy and the globalization of politics now that anybody can interfere at any time they also support or they offer financial support to extremist parties and corrupt ways to support business groups but the central point is this a moment where the russians try to capitalize on the tensions and democracies with the more
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general feeling that democracy is working in this country? and when you look back to other eras of liberal democracy i mean liberal as a democracy based on institutions not just voting but rights but if you look back at those other eras of liberal democracy hitler laughed at it but looking at other eras people began to see that as a weak and ineffective system then you get the rise of extremist it is too simplistic for the thirties but we are in that kind of moment where this kind of system is lost in the extremes are benefiting. >> i do agree.
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they are not to hit in in some of their methods they were anti- russia and pro- nato and then they get into financial difficulties go to the russian bank for favorable terms surprise surprise now they are pro- russia and anti- nato. that then try to build a hotel in moscow? no. [laughter] not that i'm aware of but as we know those conversations started january 2016 just to step back this is a problem not simply with trump we have had a trend for the last ten years in which america has been focusing more on itself
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and less on the cultivation of these relationships across the globe. this is where american leadership is needed and where america is the exceptional country looking at norway we had a lovely dinner party and the mayor of oslo blah blah blah and they said where's america? we have russia on northern border and submarines of the waters and the air defenses before trump where is america? why aren't you standing with us? it has only gotten worse in these trends will continue unless we have the understanding we are the essential center of energy of the western alliance. it's not all bad in the world. i look south look at chile and argentina and colombia and peru and who would have
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thought after trudeau calls for ousting missouri to use one - - madera that the united states would follow but we did in that part of the world is getting to get its act together and we have reaction to the democratic order in brazil but that's only because decade after decade of corruption and the desperation but even there the people in the region think they can control that president to point them in the right direction but we need to be involved in that action. >> and then you talk about the cowardly lion what would you like to see in this disordered world we get a lot of crap on
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twitter but one column was when trump was winning i was talking about he was qualified more of a true hawk and interventionist. but you can see now it's a strange amalgam of militaristic and isolationist and in some ways he never left military school and to be very patient with generals in the military bit on the other hand when it comes to war obviously
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he listens to the excuse for one of the crazy doctors but he thinks of war often in the same way he says he doesn't want to go to the gym because it takes away the energy he could be using on business so i have been talking to him about this over 30 years and to think you could be spending that time and money in a better way even if he did tell howard stern reluctantly okay we should go to iraq when i talked to him about it, he was not very high on that war all along. he just thinks of what we could be using so it is very
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contradictory a lot of people in washington are saying blow up the world with the tweet about north korea and then people think he should get the novell peace prize for making peace with north korea. just like everything else it is a chaotic jumble. >> sometimes it occurs to me about this column a few weeks ago. >> don't do it. [laughter] i have 650,000 twitter followers i don't care when happy to be sharing my views but i don't want to hear it. >> it hurts my feelings. [laughter] >> i should take your advice but in some ways the - - trump
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is the left coming back i grew up and democrats were the party talking to the russians but not anymore democrats were the party of the identity politics made it his own and magnified the ugliness and with citizenship then it was the far left with the constitution of the united states written by slaveowners for slaveowners democracy is a sham it is rigged and then trump came around and say the whole thing is rotten and now
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they say what about the constitution? what is truth? it is a construct of power and truth is relative and trump says that's not true. he doesn't even believe in truth. do you think democrats could put on a better trajectory now taking all their themes? >> msnbc is shrieking at the idea maybe we should get out of the war we have been in for 18 years. but talking about the country's identity because i
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think this is a lot of the problems to after 911 that if we are not the country that can win wars and protect our borders then who are we? we have talked about that identity issue.
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